Combining the chaotic lines of urban culture with distressed organic materials, Matt Durant’s mixed media works bring eco sensibility to images of abstractions & the modern metropolis. His dynamic, interdisciplinary style draws from music, sculpture and action painting.
Durant graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design in 2001, where he studied an array of medium, his later years focusing woodworking, video, and audio sculpture. This training would later come to inform his painting; his energetic op-art patterns resemble a tangle of furiously oscillating sinusoidal waves. Years of work as a horticulturalist influence his choice of materials, which favour salvaged wood and found objects that would otherwise have been discard. In utilizing so-called refuse, Durant probes ecological themes while drawing inspiration from the timeworn character of a derelict picnic table or a second hand film gels book, for example. “I like to honour what’s already there, to glorify it,” says the artist.
Starting from the natural grain, knots and crags of wood, Durant builds a richly textured surface. He applies his own stains and diluted paints—both oil and acrylic—to fibrous wood slabs in energetic, gestural strokes. Hands, brushes, palette knives and found objects are the vehicles in the drip-and-splatter technique, which relies on both conscious direction and happy accident. This Abstract Expressionist foundation is punctuated with a hard, graphic line, applied with a unique squirting technique. The resulting silhouettes, often reminiscent of urban skylines, resembles stylized graffiti. The contrast between this bold stencil and the underlying wood grain suggests themes of urban sprawl and deforestation, decay and nostalgia.
SELECTED GROUP & SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2015 Riverdale Art Walk
2014 Solo Exhibition “ALTERNATE ENDINGS”, Sire Gallery, Toronto, ON
2014 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto, ON
2013 Solo Exhibition “RESILIENCE”, Goodfellas Gallery, Toronto ON
2013 Extremely Loud, Goodfellas Gallery, Toronto, ON
2012 7 Grams, Toronto, ON
2010 Modern Design, Rouge Concept Gallery, Toronto, ON
2009 Harvest, Rouge Concept Gallery, Toronto, ON
2009 In The Art, Arta Gallery, Distillery District, Toronto, ON
2008 Audio Installation, Median Contemporary Gallery Launch, Toronto, ON
2008 Audio Installation, Basement Media Center Launch, Toronto, ON
2008 Nuit Blanche, Median Contemporary Gallery, Toronto, ON
2007 Local 416, Edward Day Gallery, Toronto, ON
2007 Festival International Montréal en Arts, Montreal, QC.
2007 Driven To Abstraction, Eastern Front Gallery, Toronto, ON
2007 Bio_Logic, Bentfest, Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, NY, NY, U.S.A.
2006 One Inch Punch, Les Robots, Lennox Contemporary Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2005 Matt Durant: Black, White. Revolution Sound, Toronto, ON.
2004 Solo Exhibition “ON SECOND THOUGHT”, Hangman Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2004 RAW Select, Eastern Front Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2004 Wet Paint, Hangman Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2004 The Red Show, Eastern Front Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2003 Matt Durant: Untitled Works, XIT Designs, Toronto, ON.
2002 Sign Waves – Phase One, Art System, Toronto, ON.
1999 One Body, OCAD Gallery, Toronto, ON.
1998 Strange Sights, Clown & Bard, Prague, Czech Republic.